VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Opens Today, New Fontainebleau and Resorts World Joints

Posted on: January 15, 2024, 11:09h. 

Last updated on: January 17, 2024, 04:17h.

Country singer Blake Shelton hoped to open the fifth location of his Ole Red barbecue and live country music joint before the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton advertises the grand opening of his barbecue and live country music joint. (Image: Instagram/@olered)

Oops. It took longer than expected to obtain the necessary food and liquor licenses. But he got them and opened his long-awaited joint at 11 a.m. PST at 3627 Las Vegas Blvd.

Ole Red’s House of Blues’s Inspired interior offers views of the stage from three dining levels. (Image: Instagram/@olered)

Ole Red, a reference to Shelton’s single  “Ol’ Red” from his self-titled 2002 debut album, occupies a standalone new building at the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of the Horseshoe Las Vegas (formerly Bally’s). Each of its four floors sports balconies overlooks the Strip at Flamingo Road.

The Las Vegas menu features a lobster corn dog in addition to scratch-made chain favorites, including grilled bacon-wrapped meatloaf, brisket sliders with chorizo, and pulled pork sliders with Ole Red sauce and slaw. The bar spotlights moonshine cocktails that supposedly taste like cherry limeade.

Shelton opened the first Ole Red in 2017 in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, his home state. There are now locations in Nashville and Gatlinburg, Tenn., as well as in Orlando, Fla.  The Las Vegas location is the brand’s largest at approximately 27K square feet with 686 seats.

Shelton is rumored, though not confirmed, to make an appearance at his venue today and to perform there during Super Bowl weekend.

Dining Ins & Outs

Joining Don’s PrimeLa FontaineKomodo, and Papi Steak at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas will be a Mexican restaurant opening this spring from Chef Gabriela Cámara. The Fontainebleau’s website expects Cantina Contramar to feature Cámara’s “signature seafood dishes, perfected in Mexico City, alongside new items which showcase the wide range and quality of Mexican cuisines.”

The Rio’s Canteen Food Hall follows the Vegas trend of casinos exiting the food service business, replacing their buffets with food halls they can rent to independent eateries. (Image: Rio)

The Rio’s Canteen Food Hall, which we announced in November, will open on January 19. This continues the trend, which we first reported on last March, of Las Vegas casinos converting their buffets into food halls. Canteen replaces the Carnival World Buffet, much like Proper Eats replaced The Buffet at Aria. No new Las Vegas Strip casino has opened with a buffet since the Cosmopolitan in 2010, though it also had a food hall.

Resorts World
is reportedly snagging a Happy Lamb Hot Pot location. What Now Vegas located the building permit, with a contract valuation of $2M.

ShangHai Taste, the popular but cramped Chinatown soup dumpling haven coowned by 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist Jimmy Li, is expanding. Beginning in May, its second location will debut in Southwest Vegas in much more spacious digs at 8060 S. Rainbow Blvd. near Windmill Lane. Locals and tourists alike incorrectly refer to the restaurant by its larger signage, which advertises “Xiao Long Bao” (soup dumplings).

SC Prime Steakhouse closed at the Suncoast in Summerlin but has been replaced by William B.’s Steakhouse, named after owner Boyd Gaming’s executive chair, Bill Boyd. More accurately, William B.’s has opened in the shuttered Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant space.